How can we help our children and students juggle their young busy schedules of academics with extracurricular activities?

By. M. Chase-Mitchell, Educator. Writer. Blogger.

There is nothing wrong with wanting it all, and it’s even more exciting to see your child want to conquer the world. How can we help our children and students juggle their young busy schedules of school with extracurricular activities? What should be the priority and how can your child maintain a balance that still supports academic success yet contributes to diversifying your child’s interests and talents?

These three tips below, offer some insight on how to build you child’s study skills AND personal interests at the same time!

  1. Set up a schedule for completing homework and assignments before sports practice, crafts or music lessons can begin. Having a routine, sets a pace for students and helps in setting priorities. Your child will understand that academics always come first and will adhere to the schedule if they are excited about the activity afterwards.
  2. Limit extracurricular activities to one per season.  The last thing we want is for the child to be overwhelmed with school and fun. With one activity per season, example, football in the fall and tennis in the spring, your child can devote ample time to school work and the activity of choice. If your child likes multiple things, or changes their mind frequently, seasonal activities are best as they offer a chance for variety and constant change.
  3. Try not to use the additional activity as a punishment or consequence by taking the activity away as the result of a low grade or unacceptable behavior. Children benefit from additional activities as they build social skills and develop talents. Exposure to sports, the arts, music and more are just as important as the academic enrichment of our children.

Be sure to have fun!

Meredith Chase-Mitchell has worked in the nonprofit sector under the education umbrella for over ten years in the capacity of director of programs, charter school advocate and recruiter. During these years, Ms. Chase-Mitchell has implemented the No Child Left Behind Act via innovative programming in New York City with BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)and TASC (The After School Cooperation) and has written two children’s books “Carlin’s Journey” and “Mommy and Me”. Ms. Chase-Mitchell also holds a BA in Political Science from Adelphi University, a MA in Urban Policy from The City University of New York and a MA in Education from The George Washington University, in Washington DC. Additional professional commitments for Ms. Chase-Mitchell include being a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc, sitting as a board member for the Seven Roses Foundation, and serving as Advisory Chair for A Sons Promise. She has also contributed articles to Impact D.C, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Africana Studies publication “The Horizons” and the book “Just Be Cause” being released in the Fall of 2011.